The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello All-

I am interested in learning more about the Elise and practical setup bits, etc. and have joined this and "the other" forum to get educated [Full Disclosure: This is being cross-posted -- I just learned about EliseTalk and felt it was worth posing these questions here, too.] I do not yet own an Elise, and have some questions about optioning a new one. This vehicle would be strictly recreational. I am not a club racer or anything like that, but this is likely to be the first and last "supercar" I would purchase. I ride sport bikes, motocross, am a pilot/owner, etc. Since we live in the Californian Sierra Nevadas, the "daily drivers" are a Chevy Silverado and Honda Element (!).

So...Here's the dopey newbie questions -- I did do a reasonable search, but would be interested in folks opinions...Thanks in advance for your forebearance!

Assumptions: Decided on the Elise (vs. Exige -- I am not interested in getting into a bidding war for a limited import vehicle, etc. Yeah, the additional downforce, etc. sounds kick-ass, but I ain't made of money....) Also, since this is strictly a toy, I am considering deleting the A/C and doing everything I can to reasonably reduce weight, etc. The A/C Delete may be more bearable in a vehicle that's engineered to run w/o a roof (plus, besides the sport bikes, we don't have any convertibles in the fleet!) I have read the extensive thread on this subject here.

Goals: Pure sports -- I think I could care less about things like Touring Pack and A/C, etc. This is strictly for Saturday/Sunday blasts through the mountain passes, backroads of California. It is the four-wheel equivalent of the sport bike. The fact that I could squeeze an overnight bag in the "trunk" is a bonus and likely to facilitate weekends at the B&B with the Missus. If our kidneys get banged around, big deal, we'll stop for breakfast.

Other: One minor point driving some decisions is, is that a slight preference may be assigned to Lotus factory options in an effort to keep the care completely OEM -- I am assuming that if the car sticks around as long as I suspect it might, that "pure factory" would increase any vintage/collector value, etc. (without substantially reducing the fun factor.)

So...Here's some other factors I've been thinking about:

2005 vs. 2006 -- Yeah, I could get a deal on a 2005 on a dealer lot somewhere, but I'm not likely to get it optioned exactly the way I want AND the LCD lights are cool, the drive-by-wire and available traction control are purported to be worth while, the improvements to seats and shifter sound worthwhile, yada yada yada....

Traction Control -- Sounds like for $500 and close to zero weight that it's probably worth it since it's engineered to only kick in at the limits (and can be completely disengaged.)

Limited Slip Differential -- Despite the fact that it includes the traction control, not sure that it's really required for my usage. I'm not a cone banger and am not likely to want it (for $1,800) on just the future prospect of it *might* be helpful on some road courses if I ever decided that club racing/track days would be fun (even if we're just talking an incremental $1,300 if I get the Traction Control described above.)

Sport Pack -- Sounds like a no-brainer. Concerns: Is there a better third-party alternative for suspension bits all around.

Track Pack -- Hell, let's go for it. Assuming that these bits are complementary to the Sport Pack above (i.e. I'm not buying two ADDITIONAL dampers that replace items in the Sport Pack, etc. I am assuming that Track Pack + Forged Wheels <> Track Pack + Sport Pack.)

Hardtop -- Yes, even if it sits in the bag. Now or never and all that.

Metallic Paint -- Gotta' do it, too. "All show and a heck of a lot of go, too!"

Driving Lights -- Yeah, more weight (but at least it's up front, and man, they look COOL!)

A/C Delete -- We're at 5,000' in the mountains...It's a convertible/targa and heck, it's a racer! I'll take the 22 (27?) lbs, thank you very much. I DID read the extensive thread on this topic here. Glad to see there's not too many wall flowers in this bunch...

Touring Pack/Premium Pack/Elise Special Interior -- No, no, and no....Do not want the weight penalties. With that said, though, I understand that the power windows weigh less than the cranked windows. I might consider the Touring Pack if the net weight +/- was negligible -- Any figures on this?

Starshield -- I did read the thread here. Given that it's not a daily driver, etc. and the cost, the hot setup seems to 3M protect the rockers and just deal with it.

Service Manuals -- Every one that I can buy. I can wrench.

Delivery -- I am hoping that I can pretty much call a dealer, tell them this is what I want (exactly) and write a check. In four to six months, I'm hoping it'd roll off the boat. How long does it take for stuff to come from the factory? I am hoping that I don't have to deal with insulting dealer markups on this and that someone will just say "Thank you very much -- I'll call you in four months when it's here." Is this realistic? Any opportunities for discounts -- I DO want a relationship with a dealer, but if the landscape is such that there's actually competition for business, then I should at least ASK for some consideration, eh?

Thanks in advance for your collective wisdom/commentary/opinions on the above.

John Sykes
209-795-4588
 

·
insert clever title here
Joined
·
7,702 Posts
Sounds like you really know what you want! Cutting back on starshield may or may not be a good idea, depends on how you feel about rock chips. You're right that the rocker panels are critical though and you should at least protect those. Service manuals - soon, the Lotus website will be fixed and you can download 'em for $25! A/C delete - may hurt resale later (if you ever plan on selling it). Touring pack adds around 12 pounds, I think I heard. Traction control is really, really not needed...I heard that it's only added due to the complications that LSD can cause in certain circumstances, don't know the details of this or how true it is. Suspension - people speak highly of Ohlins and Nitrons, but doesn't the track pack come with the Ohlins? You'd probably be happy with just that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,923 Posts
Hello John and welcome aboard! :wave:

I configured my 2006 with much of the same rationale as yours.

However, since the bulk of my driving is what would be called "canyon carving" I felt that the Sport Pack was overkill. IMHO it's really a hardcore setup appropriate for folks who track the car. As such the stiffness of the Sport pack tires with the stiffer dampers/springs really detract from comfort. It's all up to personal preference... it doesn't bother some folks, and it's too much for others.

If I were you, I'd not order the Sport and Track pack, but go with either just the Lotus forged wheels or aftermarket wheels with the base tires, and either Ohlins or Nitrons. For the same amount of money, you're talking about a much more streetable car that could still be dialed in for extreme driving.

If you're concerned about returning the car to OEM, you can easily put the original dampers and springs back when the time comes.

Regards,
JnC
 

·
Forum Founder
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Well thought out intro and questions.

IMHO.. based on what you wrote, I would agree you don't need Sport. You don't need LSD/TC. You don't need A/C. You don't need Touring. You don't need the track package.

The changes from 2005 to 2006 are not a lot... and since you are planning on keeping the car, there might be a substantial difference in cost to you IF you would consider comparing a used 2005 to a new 2006. However, if you are only in the market for a new car, then go with the 2006 and place an order to have one built for you to your specification. That is worth something.

You should be able to find a dealership that will be happy to take your order and get you a car in a few months or maybe even less. At MSRP. Or maybe even less. Shop around.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,819 Posts
I would agree with all of your rationale - including getting at least the Sport Pack, if not the Track Pack. You're buying a pure fun car, so you might as well get it in it's purest form.

Good luck, and enjoy it.

--Josh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,923 Posts
2005 vs. 2006 differences

John, this is covered in bits and pieces in a lot of places, but I figured I'd save you the trouble. It's by no means complete ;)

2005
  • Early cars had dual oil coolers, later relegated to only sport pack for all later elises
  • Early cars had a plug in the engine cover for an antenna. later made continuous
  • Various shifter arms are used. hex shifters in particular are prone to breaking and are later recalled. thicker shifter used later in the year
  • Pedals are made of extruded aluminum and look fantastic. Narrow gas pedal. Some adjustments are possible to improve heel/toe (often not optimized from factory)
  • Taillight pattern is two cresents per side: () () This ties into the appearance of late model Esprits, and is unique on the road.

2006
  • Various paint changes, most minor. (unless it's your favorite color ;) )
  • Drive by wire replaces throttle cable.
  • Pedals are made simplier and lighter, but lose the extruded aluminum arms. Gas pedal made wider. Better set up for heel/toe from the factory. Some folks say the pedal placement has changed.
  • Probax foam is used in the seats. Lumbar pumps deleted. Claimed reduction in driver fatigue.
  • LED's replace rear bulbs. Taillight pattern is complete circles.
  • Slight improvements on quieter door seals, claimed leak reduction (most 2005 owners never had any difficulties to begin with)
  • Base model door panels are now full silver plastic with a cloth teardrop. (Previously all cloth with vinyl(leatherette?) teardrop )
  • Reflectors deleted from rear grasscatcher and integrated into the taillights. Different hole pattern in grasscatcher.
  • Trunk carpeting complete fill? (may have been 2005 running change)
  • Various option packages added.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the advice. A lot of great opinions here...I think the most significant thing to consider is the 2005 vs 2006 decision. I was familiar with most of the differences (there was a great article in the 12/12/2005 AutoWeek) -- I am thinking about being opportunistic on a 2005 as Randy suggests and considering the aftermarket bits mentioned by MattG -- Of course, these types of things could be done after I've had some time with the vehicle. I could rip out the A/C myself and all that (and replace it and all the stock bits (or hand the crate over...) if the thing ever got sold. If I get any replies from the "other forum" that are material, I'll post.

Thanks again for the thoughtful comments.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Update: I located a new late model year 2005 that included a raft of options and a price that was fair. This particular vehicle included the Limited Slip Differential and Traction Control (even as a 2005 model) with the Touring Pack, Sport Pack, Hard Top, Star Shield, etc. in the exact color combination I wanted and all. The dealer knocked 15% off the MSRP and, time being money and motivated parties on both sides, it felt right and I went for it. Vehicle is to be delivered next week. To say I'm excited is an understatement! Yeah, it's not as "pure" (stripped....) as I had originally thought I'd be going for, but I suspect I'll appreciate having it sooner rather than later and I don't think that even with the AC and leather that the Elise will ever be confused with some of its softer rivals.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,416 Posts
My only comment, if you think you're buying it as a fun second car, you may find you like to drive it much more than you expected. Glad you got the Starshield, you won't be disappointed.

Have fun!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I certainly expect to love it! I've never driven one -- but then, I don't need to test pilot an F-16 to know it'd be a hoot! ... ;-)

I have to admit to having spent way too much time looking at all of the performance mods....I'll get six months with it "stock" under my belt and when it gets put up for winter, I can spend some time bolting on some of the fun bits.

John
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top